For years people have asked me questions like these:
Why do you HAVE to work so early?
Do you HAVE to work tomorrow/today/earlier/later/this weekend/that holiday?
You get the picture. The questions imply that I am powerless to do otherwise.
So I always answer, "No; but I GET to."
Nobody HAS to do anything, ever. But we GET to do all kinds of things often.
In any profession, there is no day or time that is a throwaway day or time. As a business owner, it is the same for me. When I was in the big box clubs, it was no different. I GET to show up. You GET to show up. Even for those working 9-5, likewise, it is the same that you show up by choice. You only "HAVE TO" insomuch as you deem the consequences unconscionable.
How can I say that? Well, because a lot of people do walk away from their obligations. Sometimes legitimately. Sometimes not so much. They quit. They file bankruptcy. They walk out on their families or their kids. Heck, some people idolize a guy who walked out on two wives, cheated on the third, and filed bankruptcy seven times.
I've seen not a small number of coaches and trainers sleep in, miss appointments, skip days. Sometimes, the most carefree and unreliable people suffer few or no consequences. Think of the guy I mentioned above. Not only has he never suffered any consequences for walking out on his obligations, he's boasted that he never once asked for forgiveness IN HIS LIFE. Sometimes followers like the idea that a leader is unapologetically flawed. A lot of people love the idea of an unrepentant sinner, flaunting his mistreatment of others and gaming the system. On occasion, it becomes endearing. And we are all familiar with that absentee coworker, manager or director/executive/owner who becomes a workplace joke: "hey guys, do you think so-and-so will show up today or is he out 'sick,' 'in a board meeting,' 'traveling for work' again?" So, you see, no one really HAS to do anything, because, in some cases, there is an advantage to being irresponsible.
However, in my mind, for me, I find that this life is what I GET to do. Everyone you lead will generally be, on average, at least one step less accountable than you, one notch less consistent, one decision less put-together, one degree less responsible and a few degrees less honest. You GET to guide them. Or, you GET to misguide them. I prefer not to misguide.
Someone may argue the semantics, saying I feel I owe it or a sense of duty to my mentees and my family. From my perspective, it is a simple unshackled honesty. When I said I wanted to provide for my kids, I meant more than dollars. I meant examples. When I said I wanted to help people, I didn't say, "only if it's really convenient for me" or "only if I get something out of it." The world won't mend itself if we keep thinking we are trapped under the thumb of "HAVE TO." But everyday we freely "GET TO" serve our fellow man or neighbor.
The universe didn’t owe you this day, this job, this challenge, this life. It didn’t “have to” gift you another chance, another opportunity to live. But... we GET it.